It’s Not a Game

Recently I was discussing the recent spate of terrorism that has besieged Israel with my friend Ben who lives there. His house is situated not far from the 1949 Armistice Agreement Line; consequently, he is close to the front-line of early onset terrorism. During our discussions I learned some interesting things.

Did you know that the first recorded airline skyjacking did not occur in Israel; it happened in Arequipa, Peru; the year was 1931. In terms of aviation history, it places that crime closer to Kitty Hawk than Tel Aviv.

Fast forward to 1972; a terrorists attack was orchestrated by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and carried out by three members of the Japanese Red Army against Lod Airport in Israel. The PFLP had devised the devilishly shrewd profiling-proof scheme, which took Israel security by surprise with catastrophic results. Twenty-six people were massacred and eighty were injured. Seventies security techniques were no match against the malice bred by years of Jew-hatred indoctrination.

But not until a wave of attacks washed over Israel’s national airline El Al, did hijacking spill over to the rest of the world. In time the streets of Rome, Vienna, Athens, Istanbul and others were soaked in blood. Israel had become the proving ground for terrorist attacks whose range knew neither boundaries nor borders.

However Israel quickly adapted defensive measures to the lethal skyjacking tactics employed by her sworn enemies, thus thwarting numerous additional attempts. But like a virus the PFLP mutated from skyjacking to the use of a new and deadly weapon – Vehicles!

Actually today’s use of vehicles to run down Israelis is not really new. For years terrorists have been ramming into bus stop locations and trampiada, hitchhiking posts where soldiers congregated to catch a ride. The first attack using a vehicle as a weapon occurred on October 11, 1991 in Tel Aviv. Two people were murdered and eleven injured.

In response to the new tactic the Israelis installed large round reinforced posts surrounding trampiada stations to protect the soldiers. However the ever resourceful radical extremists added to their arsenal of death-by-vehicular-homicide: backhoe loaders and bulldozers which they used to flip buses over in the streets of Jerusalem and elsewhere.

Obviously ramming into Jerusalem bus stops, as well as, sidewalks and trampiada elsewhere in Israel did not cause enough mayhem and murder to slake the terrorists’ thirst for Jewish blood. Therefore they upped their game by alighting from their vehicles and attacking innocent bystanders with knives and meat cleavers. It was not long before the blood of others spilled over into the streets and boulevards of Paris, Nice and America.

Ben confided that he was not shocked by the spread of terrorism but he did qualify that statement by adding, “The only surprise is that it has taken so long for that kind of savagery to spread.”

Tragically, the re-branding of terrorism has managed to infiltrate many markets throughout the world. According to Ben, “It is beyond the capability of the Europeans or the Americans to protect the number of soft targets available. Soft targets attract terrorists the way toys and games do a kid in a toy store.”

Regrettably playing games is not what the terrorists have in mind. Therefore, nothing other than a clear-cut strong response by the US, by Israel and others, to terrorist attacks, will convince them that we don’t play games either.

About the Author
Since retiring from IBM as an IT Systems Analyst Steve Wenick has served as a freelance book reviewer for HarperCollins Publishing. His reviews have appeared in The Algemeiner as well as The Jewish Voice of Southern New Jersey and The Jewish Voice of Philadelphia. His articles on Jewish, Holocaust and Israel topics also have appeared in The Jerusalem Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Attitudes Magazine and Varied Voices. Steve and his wife are residents of Voorhees, New Jersey.